Rep. Duel: Health care and human services

First, I want to send my condolences to everyone impacted by the Logan County fires.

I also want to thank the firefighters and first responders for their help – we couldn’t do it without you.

If the fires impacted you, the American Red Cross is offering help to find shelter and provide assistance. Another resource available is Heartline Oklahoma.

Now, I want to discuss health care and human services in Oklahoma. House Republicans are committed to working with state leaders and experts to improve health care outcomes and human services for all Oklahomans.

Over the past five years, the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (ODMHSAS) has received over $1.5 billion, and the Department of Human Services (DHS) has received over $3.5 billion. The House also enacted several policies to improve access to care and prescriptions.

DHS recently announced that the first families from the Developmental Disabilities Services waitlist, which provides resources to people with a primary diagnosis of intellectual disabilities through home and community-based waivers, will begin receiving aid following the Legislature’s historic $32.5 million appropriation.

The effort to eliminate the DDS waitlist has been an all-hands-on-deck effort for many years.

Some families have been waiting over a decade to receive this support, but were stuck in limbo due to a backlog caused by a lack of state funding. Finally, thanks to last year’s appropriation, more and more Oklahomans with developmental disabilities will soon receive the relief they need to live a life of dignity and ensure these families have every tool available.

House Republicans will continue to work with the governor and agency heads to identify best practices for our kids, our families and our state.

Last, I presented SB398 to the Veterans and Military Affairs Committee, and it passed. It states that the Oklahoma Department of Veteran Affairs will assist the United States Department of Defense’s SkillBridge program for Oklahoma Employers and transitioning service members.

SkillBridge is a Defense Department (DOD) program for Service members transitioning out of the military that offers employment training, internship and apprenticeship opportunities.

This week was the deadline to hear bills in subcommittee. I plan to keep you informed of all the passing through committee next week!

I am thankful and honored that the constituents of House District 31 have entrusted me with the responsibility of serving in the Oklahoma House of Representatives. As always, please do not hesitate to reach out to me with any concerns at 405-557-7350 or

Rep. Collin Duel, a Republican, serves District 31 in the Oklahoma House of Representatives, which covers Logan and Oklahoma counties.


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